VCU Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) Blog

The VCU HRPP is dedicated to facilitating ethically and scientifically sound research through robust review of research projects and through effective education and outreach to the VCU research community.

Effective March 16, 2023, for any research protocol enrolling patients within the VCU Department of Emergency Medicine (EM) or seeking to utilize EM resources, a departmental letter of collaboration must be acquired by the study Principal Investigator (PI) from the EM research leadership. This letter must be submitted with the RAMS-IRB submission for the clinical trial in order to receive IRB approval.

The purpose of this letter of collaboration is to ensure that all clinical stakeholders areaware of research activities which are interdepartmental in nature, and that the teamsjointly ensure the maintenance of safety, compliance, and clinical operations standards. An EM faculty investigator will be assigned to each study by the study principalinvestigator, in order to facilitate engagement, subject accrual, and academic solidarity.

For additional information regarding this requirement, contact Lisa H. Merck MD, MPH, MA, FACEP, Professor & Vice Chair of Research, Department of Emergency Medicine, Assistant Dean for Acute Care Research & Clinical Trials, VCU College of Medicine, Medical Director for Acute Clinical Research, VCU Health System at

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